College Football Week 2 Predictions

I really hit the ground running with my college football pick of Week 1. I mean, hey, I was only off by 42 points for Ohio State and 21 points for Oregon State, so, you know, I basically got it.

Here are three games that have caught my eye this week.

UCLA (+30.5) over Oklahoma

Not many teams looked more impressive opening week than the Sooners, who ran over one of last year's best Group of 5 schools in Florida Atlantic. The same cannot be said for UCLA, who dropped on at home to Cincinnati.

That said, 30.5 just seems high to me. That kind of point spread that should never be so big when two Power 5 schools are playing each other, unless one of those teams are Oregon State or Kansas, the two worst P5 teams according to Bill Connelly's S&P rankings.

I realize that I'm recycling the rationale I was so spectacularly wrong about last week. But I really don't think UCLA is that bad. They were a bowl team last year, and dinked and dunked a lot against Cincinnati (and ran pretty effectively) so I'm not even sure Oklahoma will get the time of possession needed to win by over 30. I also need more time before I declare the Sooners to be the second coming of the 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers. Mind you, this pick (and the rest) are against that point spread. I'm certainly not predicting UCLA would beat Oklahoma.

TCU (-21.5) over SMU

SMU was so thoroughly pasted by North Texas in Week 1 that I fear for Mustang fans that they won't be as effective as correcting upward like I'm predicting for UCLA. UNT is on the ascendancy, true, but SMU (and most American Athletic Conference teams) should be better most years than any given Conference USA school not coached by Lane Kiffin. Last Saturday, UNT out-passed the Mustangs 461-252, and out-rushed them 68-4. Being unable to run the ball or stop the pass is no way to stop TCU.

Yes, SMU is at home and this is a "rivalry" game. Take it from someone who lives in Dallas, though: no one cares, outside alumni and people currently affiliated with either University. This rivalry has no cache, gathers little interest, and hence does not have that "throw out the record books" intangible quality.

Cincinnati (+2) over Miami (OH)

Another rivalry game, although one where I can't speak to its intensity (I'm from Northeast Ohio, where we disdain all things Southern Ohio). I guess the bookmakers do consider this one a throw-out-the-record books game, otherwise I just ... don't know where this line is coming from. We already talked about Cincinnati beating UCLA, on the road. That's quite a good thing, and the box score would indicate they played the Bruins more or less straight-up.

Miami fought hard and fell against a good Marshall team, but they are 17 spots lower than Cincinnati in that Connelly S&P poll. This ones a real head-scratcher, but I think there's value to be had by taking the Cincinnati money line.

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